One of the most well-known credit repair companies, CreditRepair.com has been helping consumers address credit disputes since the late 1990s. But just because a credit repair company has spent decades in business doesn’t mean it offers the best services. While CreditRepair.com has a competitive range of plans, there are also a few red flags you should know about before you decide to enroll in credit repair services.
Offers a free credit evaluation: Get a free online credit snapshot that includes your credit score, a summary of the negative items on your report, and suggestions for how to address them.
Choose from three service levels: CreditRepair.com offers options for basic, moderate, or aggressive credit repair based on your needs.
Robust educational library: Even non-customers can take advantage of the free credit information, videos, and interactive calculators at CreditRepair.com.
Mobile app available: Download the free CreditRepair.com mobile app to track your progress and get alerts.
Option for in-house credit monitoring: Two of CreditRepair.com’s three service packages include ongoing credit monitoring and alerts.
Lacks full pricing transparency: Pricing isn’t disclosed up front on CreditRepair.com’s website, and you need to watch out for hidden fees.
Limited monthly disputes: Depending on the plan you choose, you’ll only get 15 to 19 disputes per month.
Not available in all locations: CreditRepair.com may be unable to offer services in your area of residence due to lack of local legal representation. Unfortunately, the company doesn’t disclose its service areas; you’ll have to enter your address to find out.
No money-back guarantee: Many competitors offer a refund if they aren’t able to remove any items from your report, but CreditRepair.com doesn’t have a similar policy.
Types of Services
CreditRepair.com offers three service packages with tiered levels of service. These are designed with the idea that not all customers need the same level of support in repairing their credit; some may just have one or two errors to be corrected while others are in need of a complete overhaul. This allows customers to save money by not paying for services they aren’t likely to ever use.
The entry-level Direct Plan is the one most suited for individuals with an overall decent credit history, but who could benefit from correcting a small number of errors on their report. The plan comes with up to 15 disputes per month (five per credit bureau), a quarterly credit score update, and access to customer service as needed. However, CreditRepair.com will not dispute inaccurate hard inquiries on your report with this plan.
The next step up is the Standard Plan. This package includes the same number of monthly credit disputes and credit score checks, but adds a few features useful to those with more extensive credit repair needs. In addition to your quarterly credit score, you’ll also get a personalized analysis as to what has changed and what could still be improved. Ongoing credit monitoring is included with alerts sent anytime there is a significant change. CreditRepair.com will also dispute hard inquiries on your behalf.
If you have extremely poor credit and need improvements that go beyond disputing inaccurate information, the Advanced Plan may be more suited to your needs. The package includes roughly the same credit repair benefits as the Standard Plan, although you’ll get 19 disputes per month instead of 15. However, the plan also comes with $1 million in identity theft insurance and access to personal finance tracking tools to help you better manage your open credit accounts.
Monthly items disputed
Credit score checked
Credit score analysis
Hard inquiry disputes
Identity theft insurance
Credit account management tool
Between CreditRepair.com’s three tailored plans, there isn’t much need for add-on services. With that said, the company does sell one optional extra that can be tacked onto any package.
If you’ve just discovered errors in your credit report while in the process of a major financial event (such as applying for a mortgage), you’re probably on a tight schedule to correct the issue. CreditRepair.com’s Quickstart service charges a small one-time fee to automatically retrieve your TransUnion credit report from partner site Credit.com and load it into their system. This can save a bit of time as CreditRepair.com won’t have to wait to start looking through your report.
Pay close attention as you’re completing the checkout process on CreditRepair.com. The company automatically checks the box selecting Quickstart, and unless you uncheck it, you’ll be charged an extra $14.99 for a service that you may not want or need.
CreditRepair.com’s main customer service touchpoints are via email and phone, the latter of which is operated Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. MST.
Customers can also download a mobile app for easier access to their account dashboard and credit score tracker. The app is available for both iOS and Android and gets generally positive reviews with at least four-star ratings in both app stores.
From an objective standpoint, CreditRepair.com’s services appear to offer good value with a broad range of services. Unfortunately, however, many customers seem to disagree. The company has a D rating from the Better Business Bureau, 62 complaints in the past three years, and a three-star average rating.
More worrisome is that CreditRepair.com has been the subject of 16 complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in the past three years and was even sued by the agency in 2019. According to the lawsuit, CreditRepair.com and a competitor owned by the same holding company, Lexington Law, both violated telemarketing laws and charged illegal credit repair fees before any service had been rendered. This violates the Credit Repair Organizations Act, which states credit repair companies cannot collect payment before providing their services.
If you have a complaint about the services of a credit repair company, you can file a complaint with the FTC or call 877-FTC-HELP.
None of CreditRepair.com’s service plans are subject to contracts, meaning you can cancel anytime without penalty. According to the company, most customers need to pay membership fees for an average of six months to see results.
CreditRepair.com prices its services according to the table below, with fees ranging between $69.95 and $119.95 per month depending on the plan you choose. Those who select the Quickstart service will incur an additional one-time fee of $14.99.
To stay in compliance with the Credit Repair Organizations Act, CreditRepair.com calls its first month of membership fees a “first work fee”. This is because credit repair companies aren’t allowed to start charging monthly fees until they’ve already begun performing work. From a practical standpoint, this doesn’t change anything for the consumer, but it’s something to be aware of as you’re signing up for credit repair.
The Competition: CreditRepair.com vs. The Credit Pros
No two credit repair services are the same. To gauge how CreditRepair.com stacks up against the competition, we pitted it against The Credit Pros. Both companies charge similar monthly fees for their entry-level plans, although The Credit Pros’ most premium plan is pricier than CreditRepair.com’s most expensive option. The Credit Pros also charges a significant upfront fee whereas CreditRepair.com has none.
While The Credit Pros is higher in price, we find the difference justified. All packages include credit monitoring and identity theft protection, items CreditRepair.com only offers with higher-tier plans. The Credit Pros will also submit unlimited disputes on your behalf, while CreditRepair.com places a cap on the number of disputes per month at each of its service levels. Finally, The Credit Pros offers financial management tools to all of its credit repair customers that CreditRepair.com doesn’t match. These include bill payment reminders, a budgeting system, and automatic syncing with your open accounts.
Looking at CreditRepair.com’s plans and services, they seem to provide much better value than competitors, especially considering the inclusion of credit monitoring and identity theft protection with premium packages. However, we’re highly concerned with the volume of customer complaints and CreditRepair.com’s history of facing legislation from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It’s best to proceed with caution with this company.
How We Review Credit Repair Companies
We assess a variety of factors to review credit repair companies, using a quantitative scoring system to assign each a total score out of five possible points. Our method looks at the services offered by each company, including the number and variety of plans available and their value in terms of pricing. We also look at each company’s reputation among customers and with third-party agencies such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Finally, we walk through the customer purchasing experience to see what you can expect if you decide to enroll in credit monitoring services.
Christy Bieber, The Motley Fool Published 6:00 a.m. ET March 11, 2019
Your credit score is one of the few things that tells banks, yes, they can trust you with their money.
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Havinggood creditis really important, so it can be really frustrating when your credit score is lower than you’d like. So frustrating, in fact, that turning to a credit repair company may seem like a great idea.
Credit repair companies typically make you lots of promises that sound really appealing. You can pay just a small fee, they’ll say, and you’ll get a brand new credit identity or will be able to make negatives on your credit report disappear.
The only problem is, most of these promises are nothing more than empty words. Many companies will just take your money and do nothing for you or, worse, will encourage you to engage in high-risk behavior such as committing fraud by lying on loan applications.
To make sure you don’t fall victim to a credit repair scam, it’s essential you understand the signs that a credit repair company isn’t legit. You also need to know your rights as a consumer, because there are laws in place designed to protect you from unscrupulous people and businesses that prey on your desperation for agood credit score.
Your rights as a consumer using a credit repair company
The Credit Repair Organization Act (CROA) prohibits credit repair companies from making dishonest promises. Credit card companies also can’t collect any money from you until they have performed their services, and they must explain certain things upfront before collecting any fees. Credit repair companies are required to:
Provide a written contract detailing the services they’ll perform for you and your rights as a consumer.
Inform you that you have three days to cancel at no charge from the time you first sign up for service.
Explain how long it will take for their service to actually make an impact on your credit.
Explain, in detail, any guarantees that they make to customers.
This act is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission. If you’re considering working with a credit repair company and they don’t fulfill these requirements, they aren’t a good company to do business with since they’re violating federal law.
How can you tell if a credit repair company is a scam?
A credit repair company that doesn’t provide you with a written contract is likely not a legitimate one. But there are other signs of a scam you should look out for as well. According to the Federal Trade Commission, some of the other potential red flags that suggest a credit repair company isn’t legitimate include:
Companies that try to collect an upfront fee before performing any work for you.
Companies that urge you not to check your own credit or not to reach out directly to credit reporting agencies.
Companies that urge you to file disputes with credit reporting agencies about negative information on your credit report even when that information is accurate.
Companies that urge you to provide inaccurate information on applications for credit cards or loans.
Companies that promise you can develop a “new credit identity,” usually by applying for an Employer ID Number (EIN) you can use on loan applications instead of your Social Security number.
When you’re looking for a credit repair company, often this old adage is advice to remember: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
What happens if you get caught up in a credit repair scam?
If you end up the target of a scammer, you could lose money you pay to the credit repair company. Depending upon what actions, if any, the credit repair company takes on your behalf, you could end up making your credit worse – or at least will lose time that you could’ve spent actually improving your credit.
In a worst-case scenario, you could get into legal trouble by following the advice of credit repair companies. It’s a crime to apply for an EIN under false pretenses. It’s also a crime to lie on loan applications or to misrepresent your Social Security number. While it’s not very likely you’d be prosecuted, there is still a chance you could face criminal charges if you break the law on the advice of an unscrupulous company.
Unfortunately, your options for recovering your lost funds paid to a scam credit repair company are limited. You could file a lawsuit and seek compensation for actual damages plus punitive damages – but it can cost money to hire a lawyer, and there’s no guarantee you’ll win. You could also join a class action if a lawsuit is filed to get justice for many people caught up in the same scam. While joining a class action doesn’t cost you money or require you to hire a lawyer personally, the compensation you’d get is usually limited.
You don’t need to hire a credit repair company
Since so many credit repair companies are a scam, you may be wondering if you should try to hire one at all. Generally, the answer is no.
The reality is, you’re the only one who can repair your credit, and doing so is going to take time. You can repair your credit by:
Establishing a positive payment history. Payment history is the most important component of your score. If you can develop a record of paying on time, your credit score will improve – and past late payments won’t matter so much any more. If no one will give you a credit card or loan so you can prove you’ll pay it on time, get a secured credit card, charge a small amount each month, and pay it back as soon as you get your credit card statement.
Paying off debt. Reducing what you owewill improve your credit utilization ratio, which is the amount of available credit you’ve used relative to the amount of credit available to you. Keeping your utilization rate as low as you can is ideal – but you definitely want to get that ratio below 30% because ratios above this threshold will hurt your credit score.
Avoiding opening too much new credit at once. While it’s good to have a mix of different kinds of credit, you don’t want to apply for a bunch of credit cardsor loans all at once. Opening new credit results in an inquiry on your credit report, and too many inquiries damage your score. Plus, each new account lowers the average age of your credit, and an older age of credit helps you earn a better score.
These are the only ways to actually improve your credit score legitimately. You don’t need a credit repair company to help you do any of these things.
Don’t fall for credit repair scams
If you make a commitment to improve your credit through developing responsible borrowing behaviors, there will be no reason for you to hire a credit repair company. This is the best and safest way to avoid falling victim to a scam – and you’ll save a lot of money you’d otherwise have paid to a company that can’t really provide much help.
The Motley Fool is a USA TODAY content partner offering financial news, analysis and commentary designed to help people take control of their financial lives. Its content is produced independently of USA TODAY.
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Bad Credit Credit Cards – Workout My Credit Solutions Rises as an Authority in Credit Repair and Financial Education
Quality of life is impacted by numerous factors, and one of its most significant determinants is a person’s financial health. For the most part, financial stability involves the ability to provide for themselves or their family members without putting a significant dent in their wallets. As a concept, financial stability – as well as financial freedom – is easy to understand but achieving and maintaining it is a whole new story. Today, millions of individuals around the world are struggling with money issues, some of which are caused by the outbreak of COVID-19. However, there are those contending with bad credit, in particular, as a result of ill-informed decisions, mismanagement, and more. Widely acclaimed for the extent to which it helps clients get their credit into shape, Workout My Credit Solutions, LLC has emerged as a go-to venture that is currently making waves in the industry.
Also Read | Top 9 Upcoming Credit Repair Companies
This emerging powerhouse was launched by Nicole Fisher, a 25-year-old serial entrepreneur who has earned recognition for her all-out attitude toward lending people a hand through her initiatives. Highly cognizant of the impact of bad credit on one’s financial health, she started Workout My Credit Solutions in May 2020 and, since then, has been making it possible for clients to get approved for credit cards, mortgage loans, and auto loans, to name a few.
In just a year, the credit repair company has seen impressive growth, reaching remarkable heights due to its consistent delivery of top-notch services. Apart from restoring one’s credit into its former glory, Workout My Credit Solutions also delivers financial education because it believes in the importance of equipping clients with the knowledge they need to handle their money better. It acknowledges the existing gaps in the current educational system where ample attention is not given to arming people with the skills they need to secure a financially stable future. “Our goal is to help clients understand how credit works while they are in the process of getting it fixed,” shares Nicole Fisher.
Also Read | Top 9 Upcoming Credit Repair Companies
Additionally, Workout My Credit Solutions, under the leadership of Nicole Fisher, enables clients to get pre-approved mortgage loans after having their credit repaired by this five-star company. The additional service is strategically designed and incorporated into its inventory of offerings to translate into reality the dreams of those wishing to own a home.
On track to taking center stage, Workout My Credit Solutions has been on the receiving end of excellent reviews from everyone who has come under its wing. It takes pride in the long list of accomplishments it managed to snag under its belt shortly after its establishment and is set to reach the forefront of the industry in the coming years.
With its dedication to pushing people toward financial freedom, Workout My Credit Solutions is bound to remain an impressive force. As it carves a path toward the summit, it plans to continue serving as a leading authority in credit repair and financial education.
Bad Credit Credit Cards – Workout My Credit Solutions Rises as an Authority in Credit Repair and Financial Education
According to the Condusef, credit repair companies, as their name indicates, are companies that can negotiate your debts and even clean up your negative image in the Credit Bureau. The body points out that it does not exist as a legal figure.
Credit repair firms are not supervised by the government and the way they operate is determined by their employees. The offer that they make to erase your credit history in the Credit Bureau in exchange for money is not possible, they cannot do it.
Some repair companies support people whose debts are greater than 30,000 pesos. Photo: My Pocket.
Some repair companies support people whose debts are greater than 30,000 pesos, on credit cards, debit cards, loans or departmental cards. Users may be behind with their payments, or have reached over-indebtedness or inability to pay.
Functions of credit repairers:
The Condusef points out that credit repair companies offer these services:
Legal and financial advice: They consider your income, your expenses and the debts you have, then they calculate the amount of money that you can dedicate to pay your debts or if they can get you another loan to put together the payment scheme. They negotiate on your behalf: They negotiate the restructuring with the credit institutions and also negotiate the reduction to the amount of your debt. They divert the calls of the collection offices to them: An attractive aspect of the service that the repair companies offer is that they free you from the phone calls of the collection offices of your creditors.
The Condusef clarifies that the discounts or discounts offered by credit repairers depend on negotiation and the goodwill of your creditors.
If you consider necessary the intervention of a repair company to solve your payment problems, the Condusef suggests that you analyze the contract, see if you agree with the conditions established there, the cost, in short, everything that they indicate and what would happen if you drop out of the program or fall behind, once again, with payments.
The Condusef also warns that some repair companies charge for each phase of the process and others a monthly fee or a percentage of the decrease in your debt.
The Condusef recommends, if you find yourself in trouble paying your debts, that instead of requesting the services of a credit repair company, you go to any credit institution that you owe and with them you see the possibility of renegotiating the payment conditions .